A Uvalde police officer armed with a rifle asked his superior for permission to shoot the Robb Elementary gunman before he entered the school and killed 19 children and two teachers, a new report revealed.
According to a detailed response analysis by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) at Texas State University, an officer watched the suspect carrying a rifle outside of the elementary school, but failed to respond quickly enough to prevent the massacre.
“The officer, armed with a rifle, asked his supervisor for permission to shoot the suspect. However, the supervisor either did not hear or responded too late. The officer turned to get confirmation from his supervisor and when he turned back to address the suspect, he had entered the west hallway unabated,” the report stated.
“The officer was justified in using deadly force to stop the attacker,” the report said. “Had the UPD officer engaged the suspect with his rifle, he may have been able to neutralize, or at least distract, the suspect preventing him from entering the building.”
Roughly 30 seconds after the officer allowed the gunman to enter the school, the attack began, and “children’s screams could be heard along with numerous gunshots in the classrooms,” the report continued.
“The rate of fire was initially very rapid then slowed, lasting only a few seconds,” it added.
The report also found that “it is possible that some of the people who died during this event could have been saved if they had received more rapid medical care.”
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement that the report corroborates the testimony given by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw.
“ALERRT’s 26-page report outlining the attack on Robb Elementary School in complete detail was very difficult for me to read today as it will be for all Texans,” Patrick said, adding that the report clarifies “what actually happened during the attack.”
“I urge Texans to read the report for themselves so they know the truth. In the Senate, we will continue to hold all of our hearings on this event and all issues in public,” he added.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has blamed the alleged incident commander – Uvalde school district police chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo – for the delayed police response. Arredondo has denied he was in charge at the time of the massacre.
“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw told a special Texas Senate committee last month.
During an interview last month, Arredondo insisted that his officers “never hesitated” in their response to the mass shooting.
“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk to save the children,” Arredondo said.